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Duties of Departmental Tutors

Contact: Professor Mike Ewing, Dean of Students (Academic)

Policy

1. The Departmental Tutor is appointed by the Head of Department* and is one of the most important positions in a department. In undergraduate matters, the Departmental Tutor is the key post holder and the importance of the position should be recognised in the Department, the Faculty, and in UCL generally.

2. The Departmental Tutor has oversight of the activities described in this document but many of the duties will be carried out by other members of staff. Practice in departments varies but in most cases the Head of Department appoints (i) the Admissions Tutors, (ii) the Chair of the Board of Examiners, (iii) the Chair of the Teaching Committee**, and (iv) the Careers Liaison Officer who are responsible for (i) admissions, (ii) examinations and assessment, (iii) teaching and learning and quality assurance, and (iv) careers guidance. The Head of Department may delegate further areas to other members of staff, but the Departmental Tutor retains an oversight of all activities.

Admissions

3. Most Departments have an Undergraduate Admissions Tutor and a Postgraduate Admissions Tutor to carry out the duties associated with Admissions.

4. The Departmental Tutor has oversight of admissions policy in the department and liaises with the Admissions Tutor who will be responsible for:

(a) procedure and co-ordination of admissions within the Department;

(b) acting as the channel of communication with the Faculty Tutor and with the Head of Outreach and Admissions (Registry and Academic Services (RAS)).

5. However, the admission of students is a power delegated by the Provost to the Faculty Tutor in the case of undergraduate students and to the Registrar in the case of postgraduate students. The Departmental Tutor merely recommends to the Faculty Tutor, or to the Registrar, that a particular applicant should be offered a place and upon what conditions.

Academic Administration

6. The Departmental Tutor will be responsible for

(a) collating information

  • (i) on attendance and engagement monitoring submitting reports to the Faculty Tutor and to the Student Records Manager (Student and Registry Services), and
  • (ii) on the academic progress of students, submitting reports to the Faculty Tutor;

(b) confirming module availability and maintaining programme diets with appropriate core, elective and optional modules, liaising with tutors in other departments when necessary;

(c) ensuring that students follow a coherent degree programme giving advice on choice of modules;

(d) arranging academic tutorials in the Department.

7. All communications to grant-awarding bodies regarding individual students should be by Faculty Tutors NOT Departmental Tutors, although Faculty Tutors may request information from Departmental Tutors to assist in this task.

8. Many Departments have a Departmental Graduate Tutor who carries out these duties for postgraduate students consulting with the Faculty Graduate Tutor as required.

Examinations and Assessment

9. All Boards of Examiners have a Chair appointed through Student and Registry Services and approved by the Chair of the UCL Board of Examiners. Most Boards of Examiners also have an Examinations Liaison Officer (ELO) appointed through Student and Registry Services.

10. The Departmental Tutor has oversight of Examinations and Assessment in the Department but the Chair of the Departmental Board of Examiners and the ELO will be responsible for

(a) co-ordinating examination arrangements in the Department including Referred examinations, Deferred examinations and Late Assessments;

(b) the details of the examination process and liaison with the Director of Registry Services (Student and Registry Services) and the Head of Examinations (Student and Registry Services) as required.

11. The Departmental Tutor will be responsible for

(a) providing the Faculty Tutor with recommendations on student progression;

(b) advising students, in consultation with the Faculty Tutor, on their eligibility for Part Time Revision, Late Assessment, and for Deferred, Referred, and Resit examinations.

Teaching and Learning and Quality Assurance

12. The Departmental Tutor is an ex officio member of the Departmental Teaching Committee.

13. The Departmental Tutor has oversight of all teaching and learning and quality assurance in the Department but the duties associated with these activities are usually carried out by another member of staff designated as the Chair of the Departmental Teaching Committee, or the Director of Studies, or Programme Director depending on departmental practice and nomenclature.

14. The Chair of the Departmental Teaching Committee, or equivalent post holder, will be responsible for

(a) developing a Learning and Teaching Strategy and for implementing it across the Department;

(b) developing appropriate quality assurance mechanisms, including those required for programme approval and modification of existing programmes;

(c) the withdrawal of programmes when they no longer attract an enrolment of 10 or more students;

(d) developing new modules and maintaining existing modules;

(e) withdrawing modules when they are no longer attract an enrolment of 10 or more students or are no longer required by the programmes.

(f) preparing the Annual Monitoring Report and the Augmented Annual Monitoring Report for submission to UCL’s Quality Management and Enhancement Committee;

(g) coordinating the periodic Internal Quality Review (IQR) including preparation of the Self Evaluation Statement and other documentation required for IQR.

Pastoral

15. The Departmental Tutor is an ex officio member of the Departmental Staff Student Consultative Committee and of the Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Committee.

16. The Departmental Tutor will be responsible for the welfare of students and in particular

(a) the induction of new students into the Department and the implementation of the Transition Programme;

(b) the Departmental Personal Tutoring Scheme

  • (i) assigning Personal Tutors to all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students,
  • (ii) ensuring meetings take place between tutors and tutees, and
  • (iii) providing summaries for the Faculty Tutor of Personal Tutoring activity in the Department;

(c) the implementation in the Department of the UCL Key Skills System;

(d) providing advice to students on a wide range of academic and personal issues, identified for example through the Personal Tutoring Scheme, and making Faculty Tutors aware of difficult cases;

(e) recording departmental HEAR data;

(f) ensuring that references are provided for students.

17. The Departmental Tutor has oversight of careers activity in the Department but the Departmental Careers Liaison Office is responsible for careers guidance to students, working with the UCL Careers Service, and lead discussion within the Department of student destination data.

18. Departmental Tutors should ensure they are available on a regular basis to see students.

19. The Departmental Tutor must maintain a complete set of records of illness and similar matters which might affect a student’s academic performance and prepare a summary on such Extenuating Circumstances for use by the Chair of the Board of Examiners at meetings of the Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Committee.

20. The Departmental Tutor

(a) should be the first point of contact for students with a complaint or grievance;

(b) should provide advice to the students and attempt to resolve the dispute informally;

(c) refer the students to the Registrar in those cases that cannot be resolved informally.

21. The Departmental Tutor will be responsible for the social disciple of students in the Department and, in consultation with the Chair of the Departmental Board of Examiners, for academic disciple.

Communication

22. The Departmental Tutor will be responsible for

(a) regular communication on issues relating to Faculty and UCL regulations and practice

  • (i) with academic and administrative colleagues in the Faculty and UCL, and
  • (ii) with academic and administrative colleagues in the Department;

(b) maintaining departmental communications within the interdisciplinary programmes to which the Department contributes;

(c) the active promotion of UCL’s Outreach initiatives to enhance the diversity of the student body within the Department, in consultation with the Director of Admissions (Student and Registry Services).

23. The Departmental Tutor has oversight of published material on admissions, but the Admissions Tutor will be responsible for

(d) maintaining publicity material with respect to courses taught at first degree level under the general direction of the Faculty Tutor;

(e) the annual updating of the Departmental entry for the UCL prospectus as required by the UCL Communications and Marketing Office.


*In this document “Division” should be substituted for “Department” for faculties where the basic organizational unit is designated a Division rather than a Department.


**Although the terms of reference for Departmental Teaching Committees are set out in Part 8 of the Academic Manual, the nomenclature used to describe the chair of the Committee is particularly varied and include Director of Studies and Programme Director.

November 2012